I saw Lynn, the therapist, for my depression. I drank an entire bottle of wine the night before and at 5 a.m. a migraine hit. I took my usual combination of 800 mg. Ibuprofen and 1 Imitrex followed by one more Imitrex 2 hours later. I added some caffeine to further reduce inflammation in my brain and it wasn’t long before I was out of bed amongst the living. I did not want to go to my 9 a.m. therapy session because I was tired, hung over, depressed and with a throbbing headache. However I did go. I remembered a time when I had a sigmoidoscopy which is a scope inserted into the rear end. The day of the test, I woke up with diarrhea and cramping so I called the Dr’s office to see if I should reschedule. The receptionist responded, “Great! We like to do the procedure when the problem is present.” The idea is the same as me seeing Linda when I am at my worst. In this way, she will see what is wrong, rather than what is right, although, I would much prefer to not expose my weakness to anyone.
So, off I went to the therapist. Lynn and I discussed my current sense of unrest. She gave me a word for my worrying, called it “rumination” and said it is a symptom of my depression. I definitely am ruminating over my own pathetic life (which I say sardonically, and somewhat humorously, as that is the problem).
Lynn pitches all kinds of medication names at me, most I’ve heard of but never tried. Klonopin, Xanax, Traxonal, Wellbutrin and others I can’t recall. The fear I have of side effects prevent me from jumping for joy over her suggestions. I question the addictiveness of the anxiety medications and she responds that “alcohol is addictive.” A moment of silence ensues and then a stare-down. She follows the pitch with admonition that if I was to take Klonopin or Xanax I must not drink. I agreed that I did not want to drink and would consider the anti-anxiety meds.
I fear my own ability to self-regulate, as I’ve been known to ingest pain medication when I’m not experiencing any pain, because it takes away all feelings, depressive ones included. I have never gotten it illegally but if there is Vicodon or Percocet left over from surgery it does not stay in the house for long. I know that a medication prescribed for me would be acceptable to take for reducing anxiety since that would be the point of the prescription. So, what’s my problem that I feel so guilty with needing help with my mental health? If I had a broken leg, I wouldn’t hesitate to accept the treatment so I could walk again.
The hang up I have around my depression is certainly counterproductive to getting the treatment I need to get well.
Lynn and I agreed that a very low dose of Wellbutrin would be a safe and simple treatment plan to begin with. I looked up the dosage she prescribed and it is how elderly people are treated (and even they get more). I will try 50 mg once a day. Not the extended release variety because I am fearful of being too tired around the clock. The elderly take 50-100 mg 2 or 3 times a day. I will take it once, in the evening. Lynn tells me it could cause excitability but I highly doubt it. I explained my paradoxical response to most medications. If the drug is supposed to make me sleep, I tend to stay awake. Medications such as Benadryl, Tylenol PM, Sudafed, etc. all make me wired. All antidepressants, thus far, have made me feel tired.
Here’s the plan. I’m going to get through the next week at work and the day after Christmas I will begin Wellbutrin. If that doesn’t work well, Lynn has suggested we add Xanax, as needed, for anxiety. I feel like it’s an admission of defeat that I cannot control my own thoughts. Tears are stinging my eyes as I write those words. I do not want this depression but I must accept the diagnosis. I guess the doctors were right; I’m one of those people that will need to be on medication for life. Now, I’m going to go and allow myself a good cry. At least when I’m off medication, I can do that.